Now Playing: Joe Anybody Presents: 32 days and 36 video's in 2009
Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Genetic Engineers in Germany Destroy Dandelion
Mood: crushed out
Now Playing: GM crops and mad science is screwing the planet and all you live on it
Genetic Engineers in Germany Destroy Dandelion
Monday, 14 December 2009
Are you a Democrat
Mood: hug me
Now Playing: Podcast by Joe Anybody reading this text about Hope & Change
The link at he top is myself reading the following article. It is a download and about 8 minutes long. Right click on the link at the top and then choose the option "save target as"
Are you a Democrat? Well, if you are, I have some questions for you. It occurs to me that somewhere in the last decade (maybe longer),the differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have been blurred. I'm going to try to
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Now Playing: anti war notes
Hello Z3 Readers here is a recreation from some notes I found scratched on a small piece of paper that I must written from an anti war meeting, and then latter misplaced this small paper with the follow words.
Sir No Sir
“The Nine For Peace’
2 killed in Jackson State
(From top to bottom side two)
Radio Firt Termer
Rita Sing Sing
1971 FTA show
Saturday, 12 December 2009
The People Speak (links included)
Now Playing: Howard Zinn - TV - and - WebSite information
The People Speak airs on History
THE PEOPLE SPEAK
The long awaited documentary film inspired by Howard Zinn's books A People's History of the United States and, with Anthony Arnove, Voices of a People's History of the United States will air on History
What the OPR Torture Report Will Not Say
Now Playing: Torture Memos and Judge ByBee Bullshit: by David Swanson
What the OPR Torture Report Will Not Say
By David Swanson
It's October 23, 2002, and you're Jay Bybee, the man in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel in the United States Department of Justice. John Yoo and a bunch of other lawyers willing to claim that absolutely anything is legal work for you. But you'd much rather be a judge. That would be a cushy job, a lifetime job, a job with a book of the Bible named for it, a job where you would get to decide which crimes to legalize rather than being told by someone else, a job where you might eventually even get to rule on the legality of some of the crimes you were presently engaged in committing. At the moment, however, if you want to become a judge you're going to have to follow instructions, and that means legalizing the greatest crime of them all. Millions may die in the process, but you will get that nomination and you will become a judge.
"AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT UNDER DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL LAW TO USE MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ"
This is a remarkable thing for you (or even Yoo, your psychotic sidekick) to have written, because the Constitution is the supreme law domestically, and it gives Congress the exclusive power to decide to wage war. And under the United Nations Charter, no nation has the authority to attack another. But you were Jay Bybee. You were the man. You were the authority handing out personalized torture laws for individual victims. You were, in fact, already a judge convicting and sentencing people in lengthy rulings before "legalizing" and imposing their sadistic punishments. Granting U.S. presidents the power to launch aggressive wars didn't trouble you in the way it might have someone who cared about people and their lives. But this single memo would mean far more pain and suffering than all of your soon-to-be-famous torture memos put together.
"The President possesses constitutional authority to use military force against Iraq to protect United States national interests."
Now you were showing off, digging yourself deeper. Now you would need to explain how the United States could have national interests in somebody else's distant nation that outweighed that nation's own interest in not being attacked or invaded.
"This independent constitutional authority is supplemented by congressional authorization in the form of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution."
This is apparently a reference to the 1991 version of this type of congressional buck passing. In fact, such a resolution could not alter the Constitution to either remove or augment anything. In addition, it was more than a decade old. That wouldn't faze you, Jay Bybee, because you'd already given the president "independent constitutional authority" to treat such an authorization as redundant and superfluous. Its primary purpose was to pack these pages and obscure the simplicity of your primary argument, if that's a name merited by your bald assertion that verily this is that.
"Using force against Iraq would be consistent with international law because it would be authorized by the United Nations Security Council or would be justified as anticipatory self-defense."
Now you were digging deep indeed. By citing the two exceptions that the UN Charter makes to its ban on war, you were acknowledging its authority. But neither exception applied. The UN rejected a US attack on Iraq as something it could not authorize, and such an attack would -- of course -- not be self-defense. But that didn't matter either, because you'd already begun to alter the law. You invented something called "anticipatory self-defense." But international law did not recognize such a thing, and no international authority agreed that it legalized an attack on Iraq. Your citation-packed memo failed to present any citations for this hooey.
"You have asked our Office whether the President has the authority, under both domestic and international law, to use military force against Iraq. This memorandum confirms our prior advice to you regarding the scope of the President's authority. We conclude that the President possesses constitutional authority for ordering the use of force against Iraq to protect our national interests. This independent authority is supplemented by congressional authorization in the form of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution, Pub. L. No. 102-1, 105 Stat. 3 (1991), which supports the use of force to secure Iraq's compliance with its international obligations following the liberation of Kuwait, and the Authorization for Use of Military Force, Pub. L. No. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224 (2001), which supports military action against Iraq if the President determines Iraq provided assistance to the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001."
Now this is curious. You've already granted the president absolute authority. Then you've granted him authority on the basis of an AUMF from 1991. Now you throw in the 2001 version that allowed the attack on Afghanistan. That one will provide additional redundant authorization, you claim, if Iraq provided assistance to 9-11, or rather: if the president determines that to be the case. Congress passed yet another non-declaration of war less than two weeks before the date on your memo. This one, even if you chose to accept it as constitutional, had terms attached to it that George W. Bush had no intention of complying with and in fact violated. And none of these domestic justifications for the crime you are here "legalizing" fit with any of the international justifications you were alleging in this same memo. A war is no more authorized by the UNSC or defensive because Congress misplaces its spine or the president "determines" that pigs fly. And your arguments for the domestic legality of the war do not attempt to portray it as defensive of U.N.-approved.
"In addition, using force against Iraq would be consistent with international law, because it would be authorized by the United Nations ("U.N.") Security Council, or would be justified as anticipatory self-defense."
And you were still just clearing your throat:
"This memorandum is divided into three sections. First, we explain the background to the current conflict with Iraq, touching upon the U.N. Security Council resolutions related to the Persian Gulf War and its aftermath, and highlighting the situations in which the United States has used force against Iraq between 1991 and the present. Second, we discuss the President's authority under domestic law to direct military action against Iraq, examining both his constitutional authority and supplementary congressional support. Finally, we detail the justification under international law for the United States to use force against Iraq, considering the circumstances in which the U.N. Security Council has authorized such action and the scenarios in which it would be appropriate to use force in anticipatory self-defense."
Appropriate? If what is legal morphs into what is appropriate, and the determiner of what is appropriate is Jay Bybee, what are the law books for? And what would best make an aggressive war appropriate? Why, pretending it was simply an ordinary and even defensive continuation of a war long-since legalized. Making that case, however, would require providing some background. Forgive me if I quote and then quickly dismiss a large stinking, steaming pile of it (background). I've deleted your footnotes throughout, by the way, Mr. Bybee, simply because they are in the same vein as the rest of the document and consequently make it even worse, not better. Those wanting to read the footnotes can go to your original:
PDF.To continue reading this annotated blogger's edition of Bybee's confession to mass-murder, open one of these documents:
GITMO innocdent prisoneer released 12-2009
Now Playing: oooppppss! A mistake ...? Or maybe more like "abuse and neglect"
Thursday 10 December 2009
by: Andy Worthington, t r u t h o u t | Report
The long ordeal of Fouad al-Rabiah, an innocent man and a 50-year-old father of four, who had been in US custody for almost exactly eight years, finally came to an end today, when he was flown back to his homeland of Kuwait from Guantánamo, where he had spent the majority of those lost years, after several brutal months in US custody in Afghanistan.
Until the moment of his release, everything about his treatment at the hands of the US government was shameful.Twelve weeks ago, when District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted his habeas corpus petition, and ordered his release, she revealed the most extraordinary - and extraordinarily depressing - story. This shone the most unflinching light on Guantánamo as a place where men, who were rounded up for bounty payments by the US military's allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and were never adequately screened on capture, were then sent to Guantánamo. Once there, in the absence of any information to back up the administration's claims that they were "the worst of the worst," they became the victims of false allegations made by other prisoners (who were either coerced to do so, or were bribed with the promise of improved living conditions), and were then tortured and abused to make false confessions.
During the prisoners' habeas corpus petitions over the last 14 months, numerous examples of dubious allegations made by unreliable witnesses have been exposed by the judges, as well as other examples of cases that "defie[d] common sense" or exposed the use of torture, but until al-Rabiah's case was examined, the existence of a clear chain of torture and threats inflicted to produce false confessions at Guantánamo had never been revealed with such alarming clarity.
Al-Rabiah's story began when he traveled to Afghanistan in 2001 to provide humanitarian aid, but was caught up in the chaos following the US-led invasion, and ended up in the hands of the US military. What followed was truly shameful. In Guantánamo, unreliable witnesses - whose unreliability was acknowledged by the authorities - claimed that he had met Osama bin Laden and had provided him with a suitcase of money, and also claimed that he had played a supporting role to al-Qaeda in the battle of Tora Bora, the showdown between al-Qaeda and US-supported Afghan forces in December 2001, when bin Laden escaped into Pakistan.
Under torture, which included, but was not limited to prolonged sleep deprivation - being moved from cell to cell every few hours over a period lasting for several weeks at least, in a program that was euphemistically known as the "frequent flier program" - al-Rabiah finally broke down, inventing a story to please his captors, and dutifully repeating it in 2004 during his Combatant Status Review tribunal, a military review board designed to establish that he had been correctly designated as an "enemy combatant," who could continue to be held without charge or trial.
Although the authorities knew that the witnesses were unreliable, and interrogators and other personnel cast serious doubts on al-Rabiah's story, he was, nevertheless, put forward for a trial by military commission at Guantánamo in November 2008, based on the credible-sounding story he had parroted at his tribunal, and it was only when Judge Kollar-Kotelly was able to review his case that the whole sordid story emerged.
As she noted in her ruling, in one of several passages loaded with controlled disdain for the Bush administration (and for the Obama administration for pursuing the case):
What makes this story even more shocking is that al-Rabiah's innocence was established in the summer of 2002, when a CIA analyst and an Arabic expert interviewed him as part of a fact-finding mission to Guantánamo, which revealed that a large number of the men held "had no connection to terrorism whatsoever." As Jane Mayer described his findings about al-Rabiah in her book, "The Dark Side":
What followed was even more disturbing and demonstrates, succinctly, how the "enemy combatant" program developed by the Bush administration was fueled by the most damaging arrogance. As Mayer explained, when John Bellinger, the legal adviser to the National Security Council (NSC), and Gen. John Gordon, the NSC's senior terrorism expert, learned of the agent's report and tried to reveal the information to President Bush to ask him to urgently review the cases of the men held at Guantánamo, a meeting with Alberto Gonzales, who was then the White House counsel, was hijacked by David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's legal counsel, who dismissed their concerns by declaring, imperiously, "No, there will be no review. The President has determined that they are ALL enemy combatants. We are not going to revisit it!"
As Fouad al-Rabiah prepares to greet his family for the first time in over eight years, having spent the last 12 weeks detained at Guantánamo for no reason whatsoever (beyond the two weeks' notice demanded by Congress before any prisoner is released), David Cynamon, one of his attorneys, provided me by email with the following statement on behalf of the legal team that worked so hard to secure his release:
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
The End of the Washington Times _Pink Slips coming
Now Playing: corporate news shame and reconfiguration for their next demise
The end of the Wash. Times and Rev. Moon's right-wing charity
December 08, 2009 8:42 am ET
You'd think that somebody with a direct line to the Almighty, and tapped by Jesus to save mankind on Earth, would be able to come up with a better business plan for running a daily newspaper. But, alas, after nearly three decades of unrelenting financial losses, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a federal tax cheat, accused cult leader, and founder of the Unification Church, has decided to pull out. Actually, according to news reports, it's more like Moon's U.S. college-educated sons, as part of an internal family power struggle, have decided to finally cut off the endless stream of Asian church cash that's kept The Washington Times afloat.
With the announcement that 40 percent of the Times' staff is getting pink-slipped, and that the daily's no longer even going to bother with traditional who/what/where/when/why reporting, instead publishing an opinion-heavy publication that will be free of charge at a diminished number of local outlets, Times owners look like they're angling to be a Weekly Standard wannabe, churning out lots of predictable GOP Noise Machine opinion prattle. (Paging Andrew Breitbart!) What is clear is that the daily's days as a functioning newspaper are now over.
R.I.P. The Washington Times.
At this time of reflection, it's worth pondering two rather astonishing facets about the Times and its bizarre life and looming death. The first is the deep irony of how the Times, a clarion voice of partisan right-wing values, was run as a charity for nearly three decades and whose business model made a mockery of the free-marketplace system supposedly cherished by conservatives. The second is the even deeper irony of how the Times was owned by a delusional prophet whose apocalyptic visions made an even bigger mockery of the Christian values supposedly cherished by conservative activists.
Indeed, the woeful Times has for decades stood at the center of a Beltway marriage-of-convenience for the ages, as conservatives nearly developed cataracts turning a collective blind eye to the glaringly obvious contradictions that Moon's worldview created with conservatives. (FYI, Moon proclaims to be more powerful than God, that Jesus was a failure, and that dictatorial rule is best. Hmm.....)
The failed Times venture was nonetheless a shining example of how conservative ideologues view journalism. To them, it's not a craft to be used for public good (or even to make money, as it turns out), but a tool to be used for mainly propaganda purposes. And specifically, in Moon's case, it was used to impress his friends back in Seoul, South Korea, and to inflate the influence of his Unification Church.
The messianic Moon, who has referred to himself as "humanity's Savior," never cared about journalism in the traditional, American, free-marketplace sense of the word. Yes, he launched a product that looked like a newspaper, but its central goal was never really to inform its readers. Its goal seemed more often to misinform and to enhance Moon's reputation outside the United States. Moon and Unification Church leaders used the newspaper as a symbol, most often in Asia, to suggest that Moon moved freely among world leaders. That the newspaper in 2009 had a modest circulation roughly matching that of the Chattanooga Times Free Press was irrelevant to the paper's publishers, although the newspaper's evaporating readership probably was not lost on the Times' shrinking band of local advertisers.
Now, I'm not a press hater. And unlike conservative media critics, I don't take pleasure in watching news orgs struggle financially. I don't relish a world with fewer hard-working journalists. (I think democracies are best served with more journalists.) But I am hard-pressed to think of one thing that will be missed about the Times.
Indeed, the problem most recently wasn't that the Times was a Moonie newspaper, per se; it was that the Times became a chronically dishonest, and often proudly hateful, one. Indeed, the Moonie connection over time became largely irrelevant, in part because the Unification Church today barely even exists as a religious entity in America. (Experts suggest the movement boasts less than 5,000 members nationwide.)
The real problem, and the real damage the daily was doing to public discourse, was that the Times, like the rest of the right-wing movement post-Obama Inauguration Day, ran off the rails in 2009. And much like Fox News, it cut whatever ceremonial newsroom ties it still had with actual journalism.
I'm tempted to call the Times a failed news experiment. But it seems obvious that Moon knew it was going to fail financially, so it wasn't really an experiment. In other words, Moon may be the only big-city publisher in American history who set out to launch a money-losing newspaper; the only big-city American publisher who honestly did not care, nor did he ever expect, his newspaper to turn a profit -- or even come close.
Moon and the Times' parent company never open their books, but it's been estimated the self-proclaimed messiah has spent nearly $3 billion propping up the right-wing daily since its inception in 1982. As the paper now implodes, Moon is certainly the proud owner of the most expensive failed newspaper in the world, and it's possible that the Times stands as the most expensive failed American news property. Ever.
The irony, of course, is that the American conservative movement proudly -- and loudly -- worships at the altar of the marketplace. (No handouts!) And specifically when it comes to the media marketplace, the movement insists newspapers can no longer sustain themselves, in part, because they're so liberal that they've lost touch with news consumers, and that's why subscribers are abandoning the dailies. And that's why the dailies deserve to fail.
But oops, The Washington Times (not to mention the right-wing New York Post) has been losing subscribers by the tens-of-thousands in recent years, and if ever left strictly to the beloved marketplace, the Times would have been shuttered years ago for the simple reason that (surprise!) there is no mass market demand for the often shoddy right-wing product.
As a for-profit business, The Washington Times could never sustain itself. Period. So instead, its right-wing ideologue owner supported the daily as a form of conservative welfare -- as a charity. The Times was run for decades as sort of right-wing workfare project as Moon created hundreds of unneeded newsroom jobs, paid for in the name of giving its owner a (money-losing) media platform.
Of course the other glaring disconnect (or blatant hypocrisy, if you prefer) was the way the strongly Evangelical-flavored conservative movement embraced a free-spending media baron who, thanks to his own fantastic claims of divinity and looming world domination, made a mockery out of Christian traditions.
For those who might not know, the Korean-born Moon claims that at the age of 16, Jesus appeared to him in the mountains, on an Easter Sunday, and told him he'd been selected by God to accomplish the mission Jesus himself was unable to complete before he was crucified. Moon's task as God's new Messiah was to create "an "automatic theocracy to rule the world." (aka the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.)
And as former Unification Church official Michael Warder once told The New Republic, "Within the Moon movement, there is no foundation for the ideas of freedom, the rule of law and the dignity of the individual as they are understood in the West."
Recall that a 1978 congressional investigation reported "reliable information" tying Moon's church to the Korean Central Intelligence Agency.
And don't forget that Moon was convicted of falsifying records in order to avoid paying income taxes.
And this: Moon claims to have communicated with God, Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed. Moon also claims to have freed Adolf Hitler from hell, and that 36 former U.S. presidents have all endorsed him from beyond the grave.
What that kind of brazen nuttiness ever had to do with conservative values remains a mystery. But the Moonie checks were cashed all over town as Beltway conservative activists embraced Moon and his largesse, which for decades poured into right-wing think tanks. It paid for elaborate anti-communism conferences; it lined the pockets of high-profile guest speakers; and of course sustained a newspaper that could not otherwise sustain itself.
It kept alive a newspaper that utterly failed in the marketplace.
And no, I can't say I'm going to miss The Washington Times.
See comments here: http://mediamatters.org/columns/200912080004
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
I am supporting Dennis Kucinich in his anti-war resolutions
Now Playing: Kucinich and his efforts to stop this war
Kucinich Resolution to End the War Dear Friends,
Monday, 7 December 2009
Mood: not sure
Now Playing: LED's & USB's help create pollution, and capitalisms poverty
By John Biggs on December 7, 2009
The driver pulled up to a small office complex in the heart of the city and beckoned us into the back of his scuffed white van. The surface of the vehicle was caked in dust and the seats, clad in new blue velvet, were sized for someone much smaller. I curled up in the back and we were off into the city, cars coming at all sides and bikes darting out in front of the unflappable driver, his smile never wavering as we drove.
I was on my way to a factory outside of Shenzhen, a city of 14 million people mostly dedicated to the manufacture of the things we buy. If it beeps, makes phone calls, or increasingly, if you can wear it, it’s probably come from out here. We roll through the city to the outskirts and then onto a wide five-lane highway that rolls up through the smog, past rocks and hills that look like a stage set for a Kung Fu fable. This is modern China, a place of conflicting images and a world of untrammeled growth.
We trundle along into the economic zone, down long roads lined with people returning from work. We narrowly miss a man on a bike and we pass electric cycles carrying huge, heavy loads of plastic and other scrap. This zone is where the factory workers live and raise families. There are no street lights and I see children meeting their parents after work, silhouetted by the lights of a stream of cars.
We pull into a guarded complex of smaller factories. The man I’m here to see runs a company that makes USB keys. I probably have twenty of his products, all of them given to me by PR people, in a jar at home and don’t even know it. He has clients all over the world and most don’t even know they’re doing business with him. A chain of distributors come to him to make the finished product. When people say “OEM,” this is who they’re talking about.
I climb up the dark stairway into a wood-paneled office area where sales and marketing people sit. I sit down with the president who offers me a water and a cigarette. He shows me his new selection of LED lights: he’s coming in on the ground floor with these just as compact fluorescents are leaving the realm of the profitable and moving into the commodity. He’s betting on these new lights to take him through the next decade.
He’s been doing this for about seven years. He used to work in integrated circuits but he bought a few used Japanese PCB manufacturing machines and started making devices for clients. He stuck with USB keys because it’s a steady market and he lives comfortably.
We walk into the factory. This is no “Intel Inside” clean room. A dozen long benches run through the room. There are ten old Dells with CRT monitors for quality control and a line of soldering irons at the ready. It’s late – about 6pm – so everyone is home. During the day the factory is full of people. All of them are making USB keys and the company can punch out about 30,000 a day, a minuscule number compared to the capacity of the behemoths down the road.
The keys start out as circuit boards. There are about five keys per board and they come already milled to specifications. One employee lays down a layer of solder and puts the board through to the SMT machine. SMT stands for surface mount technology; it’s a way to tell a robot how and where to place resistors, transistors, and capacitors on a board. The machines here are old. They still use 3.5″ floppies to program them and they’re all in Japanese. They cost about $100,000 each, now, used. The better ones can hit the $1 million mark.
The first SMT machine grabs tiny components from a long reel of electronic parts. It’s a mad dance. The hand – a box with pistons, really – picks the part and then places it. Pick, place, pick, place. It takes about a minute to do a set of five. Another employee checks the work and then it moves on. There’s plenty of room of error here simply because this is a commodity. The machine breaks down, it places transistors a bit skew. It doesn’t matter. In the end it’s going to hold whatever data you put on it, at least for a while. The dead devices go back into the recycling bin.
The second SMT places the IC chips, the controllers and the memory. A final employee spot checks the board and sends it out to the soldering line. There they solder on each USB port by hand. The PCB itself costs maybe 50 cents to manufacture – that’s only parts – but the IC and the memory add about three dollars more. In the end, you’re looking at about $5 in costs, including labor. The final step is the application, by hand, of the silk screen, embossing, or laser etching. Each piece. By hand. The margin is slim at best, especially considering distributors sell these things to customers for about $7.
So is this a place of horror? No. This is where men and women are given a wage and living quarters to make USB keys. There are few amenities here, no child care, no donuts at lunch. The toilets are squat toilets; the sinks are overflowing into the bathroom. The lockers are six inches by six inches. Enough for shoes, maybe, and a jacket.
But this is how this stuff is made. Bigger companies won’t touch these orders – a run of 1000 pieces to them isn’t even worth the energy it takes to start up the machines. This factory fills a hole in the market. The employer fills a hole in the employee’s life. The employee lives in a free house and comes to a steady job. It’s hard, to be sure, and it’s a mess — but it’s a living.
We moved our manufacturing over here. That’s what happened. To say this is good or bad, positive or negative, is not my place. The employees here are content and the owner has a nice car and is planning a vacation to the US next year. On a micro scale, this is what countless small businesses have done all over the world for about two centuries. You fill a need. You fill an order.
On the macro scale you can cry and moan about exploitation, pollution, and capitalism. Pittsburgh was probably once as dirty as Shenzhen is right now. Blue laws were put into place there early on to prevent desolate employees from drinking themselves into an oblivion. We changed, and China will change.
My fear, however, is that we’ve become inured to the way things are made here. We love how our phones spring to life a touch of a button. We love how we can buy a terabyte of disk space for $100. We love how Moore’s law is always punching something new across the transom. But consumption clouds the true value of this stuff. We need to rethink what we buy and expect more from the companies that try to sell it to us. This is a mom and pop USB factory. Someone like Foxconn, manufacturers of the iPhone, are a different animal entirely. But both are part of the menagerie that is Chinese manufacturing. It’s globalized. It’s monstrous. It caused this smoke and this darkness and this mind-numbing work. Don’t be fooled by clean rooms and white walls you see on TV with magical robot arms carrying iPhones into the heavens. This is dirty work and it will get dirtier.
This is an industrial process to fulfill our desire. Shenzhen, and this small factory on her outskirts, show us the price of that desire.
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